To me, James Harrison is every bad stereotype about NFL players rolled into one immensely talented man. On the field it's hard to ignore his passion for the game and the intensity in which he plays every down, and more often than not he gets astounding results, after all- you don't put up back-to-back-to-back 10 sack seasons unless you do your job well; for those on field reasons I wish we had an analog for Harrison.
Off the field is a different story, however. By nature I'm a person who detests drama of any form. I feel there are too many people who are desperate to relive their high school days and do so by spreading gossip, talking ill of others and forming cliques. In my experience this doesn't end when someone becomes an adult as one would expect, but rather permeates whatever job they have. In this way Harrison is a man who thrives on controversy and drama, and never is this more prevalent than in the words he said to 'Men's Journal', via CBS New York.
More after the jump
Here are some of Harrison's gems:
In the August issue of Men's Journal, his rants against Goodell reach another level of wrath.
"If that man was on fire and I had to piss to put him out, I wouldn't do it," Harrison told the magazine. "I hate him and will never respect him."
His other descriptions of the commissioner include an anti-gay slur, "stupid," "puppet" and "dictator."
I'll admit, I said some pretty mean things to my parents as a teenager, and it seems Harrison has truly entered his 'rebellious teen' years of his NFL career. Granted, I'd probably be a little upset too if I'd been fined as many times as Harrison has, but his level of ire has definitely begun bordering on insanity.
His choice words didn't stop at Goodell, however
Harrison also criticizes other NFL execs, Patriots-turned-commentators Rodney Harrison and Tedy Bruschi ("clowns"), Houston's Brian Cushing ("juiced out of his mind") - and even teammates Rashard Mendenhall and Ben Roethlisberger for their performances in the Super Bowl loss. Harrison questions whether a black player is punished more for a hard hit on a white player than the opposite.
He then tells Men's Journal that the concussion injuries we're seeing aren't a result a helmet to helmet hits, but rather a training camp that lasts too long
Harrison suggests the real way to prevent head injuries is to shorten the season to 14 games, start offseason workouts later and trim the length of training camp so "we're not bangin' heads so much in August; that's where the brain trauma comes from."
Forgive me if I choose to see Doogie Howser before Dr. James Harrison when it comes to my neurological health. It's easy to poke fun at Harrison because he makes it so easy to poke fun at him. When he's not displaying absolutely zero understanding of head trauma, he's choosing not to attend the White House Superbowl celebration because he has no understanding that the winning team is normally invited.
James Harrison was really just the launching point (pun intended) for me thinking about Harrison's archetype and why I'm elated we don't have a player like that on the Carolina Panthers. Sure, like every NFL team we have some major skeletons in our closet- but the complete lack of respect that James Harrison seems to have for everyone not names James Harrison is maddening to me, and it makes me thankful we don't have a player like that on the roster.
UPDATE: Here is the photo that accompanies his article... I just... I... wow